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The West Coast Advantage for Energy Exports  

The West Coast Advantage for Energy Exports  

This article was provided by our partner, AltaGas. Connecting producers to global markets, AltaGas sees export advantages between the West Coast and Asian markets. 

This article was provided by our partner, AltaGas. Connecting producers to global markets, AltaGas sees export advantages between the West Coast and Asian markets.  

By Shaheen Amirali, Chief External Affairs & Sustainability Officer, AltaGas 

On Ridley Island, just down the coastline from Prince Rupert in British Columbia, sits AltaGas’ Ridley Island Propane Export Terminal, or RIPET, as those familiar refer to it.  Along with our Ferndale Export Facility in Washington State, RIPET allows us to transport North American energy to Asian markets efficiently and reliably. 


Through our export business, we provide Canadian energy producers access to premium global liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) markets, while reliably connecting Canada’s responsibly produced energy to meet Asia’s energy security needs and together reducing global carbon emissions. In fact, so far in 2023, one out of every five LPG barrels imported into Japan has originated from one of our export facilities.  

That’s something to be proud of. 

So, how does it all work at RIPET? Each day, the terminal offloads railcars of liquid propane from B.C. and Alberta. Propane is then transferred to pressurized storage systems, which cools it so it can be stored and shipped at atmospheric pressure. This chilled propane is then loaded into Very Large Gas Carriers (VLGCs) and delivered to global markets.  

The facility uses Canada’s existing rail network and the deepest harbor in North America to its advantage, offering Canada’s LPG producers a 15-day shipping advantage over the U.S. Gulf Coast.

RIPET’s proximity as North America’s closest LPG terminal to Asia allows Canadian producers to diversify their market access, opening all kinds of doors for Canada. As markets for hydrogen, ammonia, and other low-carbon fuels in Asia evolve, the existing energy trade relationships, infrastructure and acumen developed through AltaGas’ LPG exports can enhance and expedite Canada’s ability to support future energy needs in the region. 

At AltaGas, we’re currently working to increase our export capacity through construction of our Ridley Island Energy Export Facility in Prince Rupert (REEF), currently awaiting final investment decision, with key partnership from Vopak and support from the Prince Rupert Port Authority and local stakeholders. As we’ve seen on most recent energy infrastructure developments, government support to de-risk financial, regulatory, policy or stakeholder risk can also play a key role in getting projects like REEF across the goal line.     

This potential for critical new infrastructure will strengthen existing mechanisms for supply chain resilience in Asia through enhanced LPG exports, deepening Canada’s ties as an energy trade partner to the region for the in-demand fuels of today and the low-to-no carbon fuels of tomorrow. 

The successful construction and operation of RIPET would not be possible without the collaboration we’ve seen from our Indigenous communities, government, local stakeholders, Western Canadian producers and those involved in the energy value chain, as well as our customers in Asia. As we advance REEF, we’re excited to continue developing these relationships and deepen Canada’s ties as an energy trade partner.

As we look towards the future, at AltaGas we’re staying focused on delivering North American energy to key markets safely, reliably and responsibly.  

Stay tuned. 

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